Big freeze affects more matches

Wigan Athletic's derby against Bolton Wanderers is first EPL fixture to be hit.

    A supporter leaves the iced-up stands after Fiorentina's match was cancelled [AFP]
    Sub-zero temperatures across Europe continued to hit sporting fixtures as Wigan Athletic's Lancashire derby with Bolton Wanderers became the first English Premier League fixture to be called off – despite there being no problem with the pitch or stadium.

    Instead the club said on Monday that the evening kickoff had been postponed because the club's roads and car parks outside the DW Stadium were iced over.

    Four Serie A ties were called off over the weekend after heavy snowfalls hit many parts of Italy.

    Saturday's match between second-placed AC Milan and Fiorentina in Florence and Bologna's home game against Atalanta had already been postponed before Sunday's clash between Udinese and Cagliari and Genoa's home match against Bari were scratched.

    The league said it could not set a new date for the games for the next few days because of the start of Serie A's winter break.

    A week of heavy snow and freezing temperatures also led to a large number of sports events being canceled across Britain this weekend.

    Football was the hardest hit, with 23 games in the English and Scottish football leagues postponed on Saturday due to frozen fields.

    Heavy snow has also led to the cancellation of horse racing's National Hunt meeting at Ascot.

    No English Premier League matches were called off on Saturday and Sunday, however.

    Wigan said they had called the game off after consultation with police even though the DW stadium and the pitch are in perfect condition.

    The decision was made because the club has "a mile of private roads and 10 acres of car parks to maintain, much of which are still under ice, and with weather forecasts predicting a temperature drop down to minus six degrees tonight."

    SOURCE: Agencies


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